On entering the Chelsea Town Hall you feel pleasantly overwhelmed. Morphed out of recognition the interior of the huge King’s Road building is reminiscent of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, but rather than being greeted by Turkish delight, spices and scarves you are flanked by art, art and more art.
Yes, The Parallax Art Fair has returned for its 6th annual show. Working on a non-commission basis, Parallax offers national and international artists a platform to display their work without the risk of high overheads. The result is an eclectic, innovative and exciting exhibition bursting with fresh artistic flavours.
Photography, charcoals, oils, watercolours and sculptures are nestled into pods, standing beside which are the artists themselves – who are more than happy to talk about their pieces. These conversations are the best bit about Parallax; learning what inspired the artist, what they were trying to achieve, what the painting means to them and then, sometimes contrastingly, what your own interpretation of the piece is, what you see, how it makes you feel.
When speaking with Lisa Timmerman, who had just sold one of her paintings, she said: “It was really interesting actually, I explained what the piece was about and what it meant to me – my sons coming home to the security of home – and she had a completely different interpretation, it meant something completely different to her.”
Moving on around the room – past a three-tiered painting of a giraffe, who peered out pensively from his canvas – a pod named Plastic Propaganda caught the eye. Three white violins hang in line, each slightly more complete than the last, progressive but not finished. But they are finished? The artist, Kent-based William Henry, explained that he was a ‘constructionist’ – he takes readymade objects, dismembers them and uses them in abstract form: “Though they look like violins, you could never play them, so are they actually violins?”
Thought-provoking, engaging and culturally enriching, whether there to look or buy The Parallax Art Fair is both an absolutely fantastic exhibition and a wonderful opportunity to gain an insight into the mechanics of artists’ visions.
‘Strung Out’ by William Henry